Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Focusing On Celebrity Might Help Stop Donald Trump

Meryl Streep's Golden Globe criticism of Donald Trump
wasn't the most important thing that happened this week,
but mocking Trump IS an effective tool against him. 
More than a few pundits in the Twittersphere raised a good point yesterday: They questioned why we were all so focused on Donald Trump's feud with Meryl Streep when there's so many more important questions about the Donald.

You know: Russian hacking, his love affair with Vladimir Putin, the shadowy, corrupt business dealings, the lack of a good temperament, his tacit acceptance of bigotry, violence and the like.

I could go on and on.

On one hand, the Twittersphere is right, Meryl Streep vs. Donald Trump seems pretty low down the list of things to worry about.

However, I still think the Trumpster's Twitter feuds are the best ways to keep him off balance. True, his ultra-thin skin doesn't give anyone a lot of confidence he can competently captain the Ship of State.

But we all know Donald is going down anyway. Maybe keeping him off balance is the best way to get him off the world stage once and for all. The sooner the better.

These celebrity feuds make it all the more easy to mock him. To Trump, the worst thing that can happen to him is getting mocked.

It happens a lot to him. Why not keep making it worse?

Especially when the cause of the mocking is something like Trump's inevitable Twitter reaction of Streep's speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

As if this Streep was the most important thing facing him Trump, Tweeted:

So we get funny headlines like this from satirist Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker who had an article with this headline: "Trump Urges Spy Agencies To Lay Off Russia and Focus On Threat Posed By Actresses."

Plus, incidents like the Great Streep/Trump crisis of 2017 give us reminders of more the more important issues I referenced above, like this tweet from ABC political analyist Matthew Dowd:

"Let me make it more clear: Trump fans oppose actress exercising free speech while supporting Russian despot who prevents free speech. Hmmm."

And this from Brian Klaas: "Every day around 6:30 a.m. in New York, an angry billionaire awakens in a gilded penthouse to tweet furiously about how he is a victim."

One more, from David Sirata   "It's odd to hear criticism of a Hollywood star for making a nation that elected a reality TV star to the White House." 

Naturally,  like it or not, people would rather watch or read about celebrity news than the intricacies of military intelligence regarding Russia. I'm just as guilty as the next person in this regard.

Celebrity news can have real beneficial effects, if played right. Streep was Exhibit A Sunday night in this regard at the Golden Globes, which is run by the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Streep noted the dangers to press freedom under Trump as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, she said in part:

"That's why our founders enshrined the press and its freedom in the Constitution. So i only ask teh famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we're going to need them going forward, and they'll need us to safeguard the truth."

I bet few television viewers had even heard  of the Committee to Protect Journalists before Streep mentioned them at the Golden Globes.

But her words had an immediate effect.   According to Money Magazine, the Committee to Protect Journalists typically gets a sleepy five online donations on a Sunday evening. Because of Streep, the number of people contributing Sunday night was more than 700.

They're still counting that nice influx of money they got. (The non-profit CPJ raised about $1 milllion in 2016.)

The Guardian had a good point regarding Streep's remarks at the Golden Globes. The Guardian quoted Streep and had this analysis:

"'There was one performance this year that stunned me,' (Streep) said. 'It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job.'

She souned like the most withering theatre critic ever. If that was a review and you had to work a quote out of it for a poster, the best you could do would be 'Effective - Meryl Streep."

The Guardian went on with its own wonderful review of Streep's performance:

"Streep, thougn, had identified one of Trump's key weaknesses. You can critisize him all you like for being a racist, a sexist, a sexual predator, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a conspiracy theorist, a bully or a bad advert for male grooming, but it's all water off a duck's back - you could even say that duck is sitting on Trump's head pretending to be a toupee.  - it doesn't matter. But to disrespect Trump's performance - that's gotta hurt."

Which is the point of this post. Life is performance art for Trump. Give bad reviews to the performance, and he goes off the deep end.

Especially if you highlight how lame his performances are, and how reluctant other performers are to participate with him. Or come up with ways to make him "pay" for those performances.

I've already written about performances and singers refusing to participate in the inauguration. That trend continued this week.

It seems the Trump team is still desperately trying to book acts for the inauguration, even though easy Google searches of the people their seeking would show they're no fans of Trump.

Take Moby, the noted DJ and musician, who has called Trump an "actual psychopath."

Still, unlike many performers, Moby said he would agree to perform at Trump's inauguration, but I bet his price is too steep for even the (alleged) billionaire Trump.

Moby said he wouldn't need money as compensation from the Trump team. I'll let Moby explain it in his own words, as quoted in the Independent:

"Hahahahaha, wait, Hahahaha, really? I guess I'd DJ at an inaugural ball if as payment Trump released his tax returns....So Trump what do you think? I DJ for you and you release your tax returns?"

Again, Perfect. Moby slams Trump where it hurts - his fascination with celebrity - and at the same time calls attention - with humor - to more important issues: Trump's um, complicated finances.

Moby went so far as to come up with a proposed playlist for Trump's inauguration, which includes Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name,' Radiohead's "Idioteque" and Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit."


So let's all keep, um, showering Trump with mockery. It will do a body - and a nation - good.

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